Toyota Aygo

The Essentials

  • Price from £8,535
  • What Car? says: 3 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 65.7mpg
  • What is it? Toyota's baby still has bags of charm, but is outclassed by newer and more sophisticated rivals, such as the VW UP.

Great

  • Awwwwwwwwww, isn't it cute?!
  • Running one is as cheap as chips
  • Great for zipping around town

Gripes

  • You'll feel every ripple in the road
  • Gets noisier the faster you go
  • The boot's barely big enough for a handbag
  • Drive

    Great for zipping around town but you'll feel every pothole and it's noisy at speed

  • Inside

    Fun and funky on the inside: you'll love the glow-in-the-dark heater control

  • Safety

    Ticks the basic boxes but you don't get much more than airbags and anti-lock brakes

  • Reliability

    As solidly-built as they come, this car has a cast-iron constitution

  • Space

    Four people just about fit, but the boot is tiny

  • Standard and extras

    Not a lot, but you do get an MP3-compatible CD player

  • What's it like to drive?

    Just one engine is on offer - a 67bhp 1.0-litre petrol - but it's peppy enough in a car as light as the Aygo. The tiny Toyota is nippy around town and can hold its own on faster roads if you work it hard, but the steering is sluggish and tiny front tyres soon run out of grip in bends. The Aygo isn't all that comfortable, either, with a choppy ride at all speeds.
    The buzzy note of the tiny engine is ever-present and is part of the Toyota's charm, but it becomes bothersome on the motorway, and is joined by too much road and wind noise. This is a city that's best kept within the city limits.

  • What's it like inside?

    The driving position won't suit everyone because the steering wheel only goes up and down - not in and out - and there's no seat-height adjustment. The sliding heater controls are confusing, too, making them tricky to operate on the go. Still, at least all-round visibility is excellent.
    You'll be able to squeeze a couple of small adults in the back, so two child seats won't be a problem, either. Luggage space is very limited, though, but you can fold down the rear seats if you need a bigger boot.
    The entry-level model is particularly basic - you get a CD player with an MP3 socket, but that's about your lot. Aygo+ models are worth the extra, because they add electric windows and remote locking.

  • How reliable is it?

    We very much doubt it. The Aygo is a perennial winner of its class in the JD Power survey, and although it managed only third place in the most recent survey, it achieved excellent marks for mechanical reliability.
    Safety is more of a worry, mainly because of the Aygo's ageing design. Front airbags are standard in the base model, and the rest of the range also have side 'bags. However, stability control isn't standard on any version. The Aygo hasn't been crash-tested by Euro NCAP, but the virtually identical Citroen C1 achieved four-out-of-five stars for both adult and child safety.

  • Should I buy one?

    The Aygo used to be one of our favourite city cars, thanks to its cute looks, budget pricetag and tiny running bills. The game has moved on, though, and newer cars - such as the VW Up and Skoda Citigo - offer much more for similar money. Our money would go on one of those instead.